The South African National Parks (SANParks) today announced the arrest of two Skukuza based Field Rangers on suspicion of being involved in rhino poaching.

On Tuesday, 26 February 2019, Kruger National Park (KNP) Rangers conducting anti-poaching operations in the south of the Park arrested two (2) SANParks Field Ranger colleagues for alleged involvement in poaching activities. During the arrest supported by the South African Police Service (SAPS), a heavy calibre firearm, ammunition and poaching related equipment was confiscated. Both suspects were taken into custody at the Skukuza Police Station and will appear in Court in due course.

These arrests follow closely on a number of successful operations carried out by Rangers and supported by SAPS in the Park during the past eleven days. On 15 February 2019, four (4) suspected poachers, including a SANParks official were arrested in the Skukuza section. During this arrest a firearm and set of rhino horns were recovered during the operation. A further 12 suspected poachers were arrested and four (4) firearms along with ammunition and poaching related equipment recovered in various operations in the south of the park, thus bringing the total number of arrests to 18 and six (6) firearms recovered for the above mentioned period.

The Managing Executive of the KNP, Glenn Phillips congratulated all those who were involved in the arrests and reiterated his warning that the organisation will not tolerate illegal activities in the Kruger National Park, especially from its own staff.

It is immensely disheartening for the Rangers and other law enforcement officials when they have to arrest their own colleagues. We are appealing to our colleagues to stop embarrassing the organisation, their colleagues , friends and family. We want them to know that we are on the heels of these criminals masquerading as Rangers; it is time to come clean and help us uproot those criminal elements in our Ranger Corps.

Glenn Phillips